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I find that children love to make up new words. Therefore I decided to put that to good use and make it into a game. We also haven’t done any English based games for a while so I thought it was high time we did one.

You will need:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Letters*
  • Dictionary

* We used Bananagram tiles, but Scrabble tiles or even magnetic letters will work.

To begin with make two columns on your piece of paper; one saying real words and the other saying made up words.

Then take it in turns to pull out 3 letters. Try using those letters to make a word. If you can, write it down on the real word side. If you can’t then add it to the made up column. With all our made up words we also made up meanings for them.

We had a dictionary at hand to look up any words we weren’t sure about. Like the word cor is actually in the Oxford English Dictionary as an expression of surprise.

Not only were EC and YC trying their spelling skills they were also broadening their vocabulary. I call that a win on both fronts.

For older children you can increase the number of tiles they take out. Our only rule was that all the tiles had to be used to make the word, then discarded.

We have all been having a quick game of it every morning during half term.

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About The Author

Nanny Anita
Norland Nanny

Nanny Anita is our resident Super Nanny. Having trained at the famous Norland College, in Bath, she has over 12 years experience, working all over the world with children from 2 months to 17 years old. Nanny Anita is an expert when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained and writes a column with Leonora called 'Get Crafty' for Little London magazine. Nanny Anita has been on hand to answer our reader questions, and she provides weekly arts, crafts and activities for families to do with their children at home. She really is a modern day Mary Poppins!

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